The Chip and Howie Show

Posted: March 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 132 Comments »

We obviously can’t really judge the state of the Eagles until we see this team play, but Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman have now been working together for about 2 months and I thought it would be interesting to see where we stand.

* QB – I was disappointed that they made the decision to bring Michael Vick back, but I do understand it in the context of what is available and what they’re trying to do.  Chip wants true competition.  He wants every player to have to earn their spot on the roster, as well as a spot in the lineup.  Instead of spending resources to trade for Alex Smith or hoping to sign the right guy in free agency, Kelly and Roseman decided to keep Vick at a reduced rate and let him and Nick Foles battle for the job.

Changes could still be coming.  Foles could be dealt for the right offer.  The Eagles could take a QB in the draft in one of the first 3 rounds.  We’ll have to wait and watch on that.

I do think Howie did a good job of landing Dennis Dixon and GJ Kinne. Dixon is a major mystery, but fits the system.  Low risk with upside. Kinne is a camp arm, but again…fits the system.

* FA – I did not anticipate the Eagles being aggressive in free agency.  I was thinking the team would sign 3, maybe 4 starters.  I figured they would add depth/competition guys in late March/early April.  Boy was I wrong.

The Eagles signed 5 players on the first day.  4 of them should be starters.  The Eagles then added another 3 FAs and traded for a WR.  The Eagles added 9 new players in the first week of the offseason.  Wow.

What I’d love to know is who pushed for this, Chip or Howie?  I’m sure they agreed on the strategy before doing it, but one of them had to be more into the idea of adding the bodies.  Howie is an aggressive GM, but was burned by 2011 and then quiet last year.

Did Chip say something like “I want to use every weapon at my disposal.  Free agency can help this team so heck yes let’s dive in there and get some players. Ignoring FA would be dumb.”

I think Chip and Howie played the market well and added the right type of guys.

* Toughness – There were times in 2012 when Eagles games resembled sorority pillow fights more than NFL games.  The team was wuss central.  I’m glad Chip saw that and wanted change.  The players let go and the players brought in tell us a lot.  Gone is the Charmin Brigade of DRC and Nnamdi. In comes Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.  Those guys are big corners that actually play…big.

Kenny Phillips is here to fight for the FS job. Phillips is a good hitter and tackler.  Patrick Chung is here to be the SS.  He is 215 pounds and plays with an edge.  Yes, he will get beat in coverage at times.  He will also knock your block off.

Isaac Sopoaga is here to be the NT.  He’s 330 pounds.  He has no problem with taking on double teams and doing the dirty work.

And finally, think about Arrelious Benn.  We traded for a WR who is a good blocker and STs player?  What in the name of Andrew Ried is going on here?  I love the message this sends to the other skill players.  Get tough, or you might get gone.

* Size – Chip loved big players at Oregon (mostly big).  He has brought that here to Philly.  Rather than write a lot here, just check out this good article from Ed Kracz for more on this angle.

* Versatility – Chip Kelly loves to be creative.  You need the right players to do this.  The Eagles added a lot of versatile guys.  James Casey can be the FB, TE, or H-back.  He can line up all over and do a variety of things.  Connor Barwin has played 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE.  He can play on the strongside or the weakside.  Kenny Phillips has SS size and toughness.  He has the range and ball skills to be a FS.  Isaac Sopoaga has started at NT and 5-tech DE.

* STs – The Eagles have struggled on STs in recent years. One area would get solved and another one would fall apart.  Chip and Howie are being aggressive in dealing with this.  Benn was added as a KOR and cover guy.  Sam Lynch pointed out that Benn led the Bucs in STs tackles when he got hurt last year.

The Eagles signed LB Jason Phillips on the first day of FA.  He led the Carolina Panthers in STs tackles last year.  In his career, he’s got a couple of FFs in STs play.  SS Patrick Chung has had success at blocking kicks in his career.

Overall I feel pretty good about what Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman have done.  They seem to be on the same page, which is critical for a coach and GM.  Howie can scout.  He needs Kelly to tell him specifically what to look for.  So far that seems to be working.

The upcoming draft will really help give us an idea of what is going on with Chip, Howie, and the Eagles.  Those players will be the ones that the team is planning to build around, not just guys to fill holes on the roster.

* * * * *

I wrote about Geno Smith yesterday.  One person accused me of not making the case for the Eagles taking Geno.  First, a lot of people have been talking up Smith recently so I didn’t feel the need to do that extensively.  Also, I did have these blurbs:

“Could Smith be Kelly’s guy?  It is possible. I don’t question Geno’s talent.  The guy makes some throws that are breathtaking.  He has good accuracy and great touch.  His arm is maybe a hint above average, but nothing special.  It is certainly good enough to be a starter.  Smith is a smart player that generally makes good decisions.”

“It is possible that Smith gets to the NFL and thrives.  He could become a star player.  His improved footwork will help.  Maybe West Va was a dysfunctional team and that affected him in a negative way.  If he gets with the right coach and players, maybe Smith turns out to be a franchise QB.”

I try to choose my topics carefully.  Geno is the top QB to most people. The Eagles aren’t set at QB.  Making the connection of him to the Eagles is pretty easy.  To me, the more compelling post is explaining why I believe the team shouldn’t make the move.

In the next 6 weeks, I’ll be talking about players I do and don’t want.  This isn’t personal.  I watch tape and do research on these guys.  Some I think will be good players, but don’t fit the Eagles.  Some players I just don’t think will succeed in the NFL or won’t do so enough to warrant where they’ll be drafted.

We all see things differently.  This isn’t about right and wrong.  We just don’t agree.  NFL scouts don’t always agree.  NFL teams have draft boards that are very different.  Argue for your player, but don’t be offended when I think differently.  Trust me when I tell you that I’ve looked at things from your perspective.  I have written out mock drafts with the Eagles going in every direction possible.

I look at every side of the issue when it comes to the Eagles.  I am desperate for us to win a Super Bowl.  I want the team to make whatever moves are necessary to do that.  Don’t worry about who I like or what I want.  Bring me the friggin’ Lombardi Trophy.


  • GermanEagle

    Looking at the current needs – after such an interesting Free Agency so far – the Eagles could really kill two birds with one stone when drafting Margus Hunt in this year’s draft. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that he has blocked 17 (!!!) FGs in college. 17. Can you say seven-teen?!?! Also he could be our starting 5-tech DE from day one.
    The question is, Tommy: Would he be there in round two when the Eagles pick?! And would the Eagles be interested in drafting him? Also does Hunt remind you of JJ Watt?!

    • D3FB

      I would personally rather go after Joe Kruger from Utah, he’s the little brother of Paul, 6’7 280lbs. I was watching the BYU tape of Star and time after time Kruger just makes plays, to the point that I had to find out who the hell this other stud DL was. Alot of his other game tape is not quite as exciting, but he can be fairly consistent and will likely be around in the middle rounds.

      • Lukekelly65

        i just went back and watched Kruger in the BYU game and he seems like a solid player he seems to be around the ball alot and really pushes the pocket well i think he would be a nice mid round guy like you said… do you know what round hes being projected to get picked?

        • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

          might make it to the 4th, it is said

        • D3FB

          As early as the third as late as early fifth. Doesn’t fit every team or scheme, but would be excellent competition for Thorton at 5 tech.

    • T_S_O_P

      I should have read this first, but you gotta think his size and athletic ability appeal to Chip. I will say though, Margus’ athletic numbers were so impressive that they have hidden Devin Taylor’s performance, who other than lifts, really put up some impressive combine/pro day stats too.

    • xeynon

      My understanding is that Hunt is too inexperienced to be a day one NFL starter (he came to SMU from Estonia as a track athlete and only started playing football as a junior IIRC). However, he is a terrific athlete with great size, so I wouldn’t mind drafting him as a project once the third round rolls around.

  • Iskar36

    I had two OT questions I was about to post on the previous post, but at least one of them fits better here, but I apologize for being OT immediately:

    I’m very surprised Star Lotulelei doesn’t seem to be discussed a lot more in connection with the Eagles. It seems like he is discussed as the top, or at least one of the top, DTs in the draft (most places I have looked have him rated above Floyd and Richardson, but depending on who you read they rank them all differently). On top of that, he may be versatile enough (a quality that you just mentioned seems CK likes to emphasize) to play the 5-tech DE as well as NT. Particularly with signing the aging Sopoaga as our NT, it seems like having a guy that can play 5-tech DE and NT would be a great fit in terms of need. If his heart issue that was brought up at the combine but believed to be minor isn’t really an issue, is he a legitimate candidate for us in the first?

    On a completely separate and very off topic note:

    I’m not sure if Tommy (or anyone) can answer this or not, but does anyone know if at least at some point the interest in Long was legitimate or if it was just agents trying to use the Eagles as leverage? It seems like the rumors that we were interested in Vollmer, Smith, and Winston were very likely an agent spreading the rumor considering that all three I think are represented by the same agent. That being said, if there is any truth to that, I’m curious if that gives us any hints on what the Eagles will do early in the draft (not necessarily at #4, but in the first 3 rounds). If true, it might suggest that they will target a RT and/or that they prefer to slide Herremans to guard than to fill the guard spot with a rookie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

      With Lotulelei the biggest thing is the heart issue Without that, he’s a great fit for us, and one of the more talented guys in the draft.

      I still think the Eagles are attempting to sign a tackle, probably Winston, but it’s all speculation at this point and depends a lot on what kind of deal can be worked out.

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      Has there been any Star news since the heart condition was announced at the combine? I kind of get the sense that no news is bad news, here. I’d imagine that if the issue was not serious, he’d be on a PR campaign to disabuse people of the notion that he’s damaged goods.

      I agree we have to get younger at Nose Tackle, our guy there is aging rapidly, and isn’t any kind of long term answer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

        They say his left ventricle isn’t pumping blood as efficiently as it should and for a guy his size that hints at possible hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and if that’s what he has he probably shouldn’t even be exercising without being monitored, not to mention playing professional football.

        • Iskar36

          Wow. If that’s truly the case, that definitely would take him off the board for me at #4. That’s way to significant of a risk to waste that high of a pick for.

          • A Roy

            My understanding is there are several adequate NTs later in the draft. Rather get an impact OT, LB or CB.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

            I guess we have to wait to see what the docs say.

    • deg0ey

      I kinda feel like Star is one of those guys that got a little overhyped earlier in the draft process and now as he’s being relatively quiet and other guys are doing things to stand out, he’s not getting as much attention.

      Regardless of how his heart holds up, I’d rather take somebody else at #4 and try to trade up for Hankins in the bottom of the first round.

  • austinfan

    I’m never offended when you disagree with me because “I never lie, and I’m always right.”

    Interesting point to note, traditionally the Oregon WRs were big guys, some 6’4 and 6’5, and a couple who were really H-backs, but in 2012, with the most accurate QB Chip ever had, he was throwing to two slot WR types (Keanon Lowe, 5’9 181 and Bralon Addison 5-10 189) and Thomas (5’9 176) and Barner (5’11 192) at RB – shades of NE with Brown, Patten, Branch and Faulk! His top WR, Josh Huff, was 5-11 205. So don’t assume Chip is stuck on one type of player since he recruited all those guys on the 2012 offense.

    • D3FB

      Even Jeff Maehl is only 6′, and he was probably one of the top if not the most productive receiver Kelly had during his tenure.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

      It does seem like the guys we’re bringing in are taller and tougher. That does not, of course, mean that he is not open to players of a smaller stature, but it may imply that he thinks that we already have enough of those.

    • Sb2bowl

      He likes to use different pieces; quick and shifty inside, bigger outside. Cut back lanes, screens, between the tackles, out side runs……. each guy brings something different.
      The one are that excites me is the skill players we have; Jackson (burner), Maclin (bit of everything), Cooper (big), Johnson (quick), Avant (stable), Celek (workhorse), Shady (shifty and tough), Brown (big and fast)……. can’t wait to see how this pans out.
      We really could have an exciting offense within a short period of time. Andy had some great skill players, but he scheme (and Marty’s) got old and predictable. That was our biggest challenge last year (that and injuries)……. the offense just got “old” in formation…… the excitement was gone.

      • D-von

        I remember how some sports fans believed that Buffulo or Cleveland (LOLOLOLOL) was a better spot than Philly for Chip Kelly. Some fans drink the kool-aid big time

  • Cvd52

    i know most on here disagree but eagles need better receivers. It could be a better TE or WR. before you write the whole WRs arent that important just take a look at other top teams wr/tes.

    NE- Gronk, Hernandez, Amendola
    Den- D Thomas, Decker, Welker
    ATL- Julio, Roddy, Gonz
    Seattle- Percy, Sid Rice
    Cincy- AJ Green
    San Fran- Crabtree, V Davis, Boldin (drafted Jenkins in round 1 last year)
    GB- Jordy Nelson, Cobb, James Jones
    Houston- Andre Johnosn
    Gmen- Cruz, Nicks
    Saints- Jimmy Graham, Colston
    Tampa- Vincent Jackson
    Bears- B Marsh

    You got Dallas, Detroit, Cards all better than us. Im not even gonna include guys like Reggie Wayne, Steve Smith, Gennings, Mike Wallace but Vikes and Miami probably are a step ahead of us as far as receivers.

    Are you really happy with Maclin, Desean and Celek? Desean is a great piece to have if you have another stud reciever. But you need at least one guy like a Jimmy Graham or Aj Green. Give me a dude like Crabtree and i would be thrilled. I used to say you dont need WRs to have a good offence but that was a few years ago. Now you need at least one guy.

    • Neil

      Honestly man I hate to just sit here writing WRs aren’t that important, but I think your list is awesome at proving that point. All but maybe 5 at most of those guys would be at all successful without a great quarterback throwing to them. D Thomas and Crabtree were busts until their teams figured out QB. Then how about a team like the Lions? They even have a QB to pair with the best WR in the game, but since they lack a good oline and any sort of defense at all they’re still a terrible team.

      • miked718

        I think Celek gets teamed with two other new-era TEs and continues to play. DJax will get at least a season with Chip to see if an undersized, speedy, non-threat in the RZ can work with his preference for the big guys at WR. And Maclin, I don’t know, I like the guy and all but there’s been too many drops, fumbles and mental mistakes the last few seasons. Maybe trade him or give him one more shot, but I’m not a believer right now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

          I still think we need our “Gronkowski” now that we have our “Hernandez”…

          • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

            Travis Kelce.

            youtu.be/QxxDN81kT8A

          • D3FB

            Bearcats East baby. I will sing songs from mountains, also Kelce, Kelce and Mathis may be too much awesomeness.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

            works for me

          • Mac

            That’s the only TE I want in the draft. Sadly, I think he’ll go too high for us.

        • Neil

          I should have mentioned I’m not opposed to adding talent anywhere on the team. I’m skeptical of Maclin too. The biggest thing for me is how soft he plays. Otherwise I think we have some nice pieces. I think Damaris Johnson could turn into a pretty good slot receiver if he had a great QB throwing to him. I think Riley Cooper could be at worst a functional outside guy.

          The thing about WR is you can find guys who might not be the fastest, but if they have size and an intuitive feel for routes and always know where they have to be, they can be successful with the right quarterback. And I think you can find those guys later in the draft, while using one 2ndround pick to get your deep threat in Desean. Otherwise, I think the most valuable resources should go to the real foundation of your team outside of QB (that is, what we have seen many teams win with alone like the early Patriots), the offensive line and the defense.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        You can’t take all the credit away from those receivers.

      • Cvd52

        D Thomas was a beast with Tebow. The same Tebow that may be out of the league thsi year. And Crabtree had a terrible offence to deal with, he was always a stud in the waiting. So you wouldnt deal Maclin for any of these WRs i guess? You just think Maclin needs a good QB and he will be one of the top guys?

        So let me ask you this, why did ATL and Seattle do whatever it takes to add stud WR’s if they arent important?

        and i agree that a stud Qb makes all the wrs better, but i dont agree that our receivers are just as good as the teams i mentioned above.

        • Neil

          ATL probably shouldn’t have. I don’t think their defense and offensive line were good enough to justify the Julio Jones trade at the time considering the risk involved in any draft pick, but how Julio Jones turned out makes them look a lot better. Seattle is a great example because the rest of the team was very good, so that’s a great time to add a bigtime receiver. Why Atlanta did it? They probably thought they were in the same position as Seattle. At this point I really don’t know if they or I was right. But I think we can all agree the Eagles aren’t a more or less complete roster in search of that playmaking threat on offense.

          Man, I don’t know where I said our WRs were as good as those other teams. I would trade self-tacklin Maclin for any of the guys you listed, absolutely. But I would prefer we address that position right now with lesser resources until our defense has less gaping holes that will make great wide receivers moot. Unless a wide receiver was sitting on the board who was deemed clearly better than anyone else we could draft.

          I wouldn’t exactly call any receiver who played with Tebow successful, but Thomas did have that spectacular catch in the playoffs. I don’t know, I didn’t study his tape, but it would be surprising if he didn’t display the talent that allows him to produce with Peyton Manning now.

          Demaryius Thomas is a great example, now that I look at his stats in 2011. 11 GP, 32 catches, 70 targets, 551 yards, 17.2 YPC. He touched the ball less than 3 times per game, but you can see his YPC is great. However, that offense seldom scored more than 14 points in a game, and that team only made it to the playoffs on the strength of their defense in one of the worst divisions in recent memory.

          This was a fun discussion.

          • Cvd52

            i think you were thinking i was saying that i would do whatever it takes to add a stud reciever over other areas. thats not what i meant. if there is a stud saftey or pass rusher or tackle, im taking him. my point is if there is a way to grab a stud reciever we need to do it. i dont think there is though.

            its pointless to have a stud wr and a terrible team. but if you have a good team and ur recievers are maclin and desean you need to upgrade. now im not overpaying a guy like greg gennings, but if i can grab the next jimmy graham or aj green i am doing whatever it takes to grab that guy. but yeah once my team is good, but if julio is siiting there at 4 this year i dont have to think about it cuz i may never get another chance at a guy like that, but ideally i want to build my team and then grab that guy.

          • Neil

            Yeah, you’re right. I think I misread what you were saying. Unfortunately, Jones probably wouldn’t fall to 4 in a year like this. That would be the kind of case where a WR is clearly a superior prospect to whoever else we could take; though I’m not a fan of moving up 20 spots and giving up a gaggle of picks for anyone like the Falcons did.

          • Cvd52

            yeah i agree, i wouldnt do the atlanta move up for a WR.
            too bad eagles picked a bad draft year to get the 4 pick

      • Cvd52

        and im curious as to what the 5 are that would be.
        Gronk, Hernandez, D Thomas, Julio, Roddy, Gonz, Percy, Aj Green, Crabtree, Cobb, A Johnson, Jimmy Graham, V Jax, B Marsh, Dez B, Calvin J, Fitz.
        thats 17. If you say these guys are made by their qbs then i undertsand why u are happy with maclin desean and celek. and im not saying the qb cant make them better, thats obvious.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Perspective is very interesting. From where I sit, they were pretty choosy and prudent in free agency, avoiding starting caliber talents, and trying to scoop young guys who had off years, or injuries. True, they added 4 prospective starters, but how many of those starters played in more than 40% of their team’s snaps last year? I actually don’t know the numbers, but I assume Sopoaga and Casey were part time players, and the other two were buried on the depth chart. I think they did a good job of creating team-favored contracts to see if some of these guys can step up their production in bigger roles, but I don’t think I’d call it aggressive. Wasn’t Barwin the only guy they signed that started for his team last year?

    I do like the philosophy of getting bigger and tougher. We’ve needed that for a long time, I’m glad to see that all those undersized players was more a Reid thing than an organizational preference.

    I’m not too worried about you being anti-Geno, and didn’t get that sense from your other postings. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of positives to tell us about if the Eagles take Geno with the pick. It’s great to have you as an Eagles fan, because I’m convinced you could make lemonade out of a pile of rocks if you had to! Here’s to hoping we get something better than that in April!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

      Yes, I think the signings were along the lines of “Let’s get a bunch of guys and some of them will probably be good and if they’re not they’ll be easy to dump”. Which makes sense when you’re gutting a lot of the team rather than doing a minor retooling.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Fully agreed. I am extremely happy we’re talking about a major overhaul, instead of a few minor tweaks, and think the heavy lifting of overturning a pretty bad roster has to be done in the draft. I have to say that I’m encouraged by the shift we’ve seen in philosophy in terms of types of players; I think it’s somewhat indicative that young Mr. Roseman is tailoring his approach to Kelly, rather than Kelly trying to work with what Howie gives him. Hopefully one or two of these low risk guys works out (Crossing my fingers Kenny Phillips’ reconstructed knees are good enough to play), and they put themselves in a position to have the other spots covered with drafted talent. If we’re lucky, Roseman and Kelly can create a chemistry like Carroll’s got with Schneider in Seattle. Hopefully, within the next 2-3 years, they’ll have cleared out a lot of the marginal NFL talent that’s collected in, and seized the turbines of the franchise, and the Eagles will be in a position to contend again.

  • ACViking

    Re: ” Howie is an aggressive GM, but was burned by 2011 and then quiet last year.”

    T-Law:

    Forgive my persistence, but what’s the evidence that support’s your characterization of Roseman as “aggressive.”

    (For example, all the draft day trading . . . that was the Eagles’ practice under Andy Reid pre-Roseman.)

    I’m not disagreeing. I’m just wondering, particularly after Lurie so emphatically granted absolution to Roseman for everything bad on the personnel side before the 2012 draft.

    And what seems odd — insofar as saying Roseman’s an “aggressive” GM — is (i) Lurie absolves Roseman for all pre-2012 moves, and then (ii) the Eagles do nothing in the period leading up to the 2012 season except participate in the NFL draft, which is the first period (according to Lurie) that he held Roseman responsible for what happened.

    In other words, in the one season where it seems Roseman steered the Eagles’ personnel train, the team was passive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

      I don’t think Howie sets the direction of the franchise, personnel-wise. I think he takes the direction set by the head coach and tries to translate it into an approach and strategy. The head coaches know what types of guys they want, this is passed down through the organization starting with Roseman, who tries to turn the vision into reality.

  • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

    I understand that Kelly wants competition, but i have 0% interest in Vick playing. This year, the QB position is all about figuring out if Nick Foles is a franchise QB in the NFL. I can see that you need to push him the become the best, but frankly, i have very little faith in a guy being THE franchise, if he cant seem to push himself to be the greatest.
    Another year of Vick, will just further postpone the finding our QB, and in the NFL you’re nothing without a QB.

    It could be that Kelly has no interest what so ever in Nick Foles, and only utilize him to push Vick the be the best he can be this year and then draft a QB next year, but I cant imagine that Foles wont even get the chance. I do think that Vick will have to play lights out to win the job, not just suck less that Foles, and i dont see that happening. Nor do i see Vick actually beating Foles out for the job.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

      Foles is a good competitor but I don’t see him having any special reasons to think that he is anything resembling a franchise QB. At least with Vick you have a guy who can move around well, even if not as well as he once did; and a guy with a strong arm.

      • D-von

        I disagree. With Vick you’re guaranteed at least one TO a game. Thats unacceptable. Foles makes better decisions and can inticipate where the ball needs to go

        • shah8

          **snort**

          • shah8

            Or in long form, whenever I’ve watched the game, I’ve seen some pretty poor decisionmaking by Foles as well. And I saw no muscle or skillful plays, so I’m pretty sure that the tape will asphyxiate whatever playmaking ability Foles had.

          • D-von

            Do we leave out the fact that he was a rookie and still made better decisions than a 10 year vet?

          • shah8

            I don’t give a bleep about “he’s a rookie!” That’s basically the classical whine by every lame fan who wants to believe in that lame football player he’s latched onto without watching with clear eyes.

            The fact of the matter is that talent is talent is talent. Good prospects will show good instincts and make a few plays, and they compensate for the boneheadedness.

            Bad prospects show exactly why they weren’t considered top stuff, usually. Take Jake Locker and his accuracy, or Christian Ponder and his durability or game-moxy.

            Foles has already outperformed my expectations when he showed that he’s a decent backup QB…you know…better than Mike Kafka. He moves around the pocket well, he can make throws under duress, and he can sorta run an offense and take what’s given to him. However, he’s not really a starter, and if you compare him with Matt Schaub, who’s a little similar, he wouldn’t fare well at all, and Matt Schaub is really not a great QB.

          • D-von

            You made no sense. Foles outplayed Vick. What else is there to say. Vick got benched for Foles. What other facts do you have to say that Vick is a better Qb than Foles right now

          • shah8

            Foles did not outplay Vick. If he had, maybe the Eagles would have won more than one game against a notoriously incompetent pass defense.

          • D-von

            In 9 1/2 games with Vick as the QB the Eagles scored 147
            In 6 1/2 gmaes with Foles as the QB the Eagles socred 124
            Which offense had a better avgerage in points scored?

          • ACViking

            But Foles only did better than Vick because Reid and MM changed the game plan to accommodate the rookie’s patent limitations.

            If Vick had stayed healthy, the staff would have continued with “Bombs Away.”

            So comparing Vick and Foles’ performances is like apples to oranges.

            (I don’t believe any of this. But that’s the argument I’d make if I were trying to convince people that Joe Webb . . . I mean Nick Foles is a 3rd-rate back-up.)

          • bentheimmigrant

            And who knows… If it had been Foles facing that Arizona D showing an 8 man blitz, maybe he would have done something dumb and rookie-like and checked out of the play. Thankfully, we had Vick there to give Rhodes a well earned TD.

          • Iskar36

            Is it just me or does anyone else miss Morton.

          • D3FB

            Everyday I wake up and pray for him to come back.

          • shah8

            I did not say that Foles is a third rate backup. I simply said that Foles isn’t capable of starting. Joe Webb, based on his pure physical talent, can start.

            Again, a third rate back-up doesn’t rack up 248 total yards, one TD and two turnovers in the playoffs after a season without a pass attempt. A third rate backup would look like Ryan Lindley and his zero TDs in like 5 appearances. A second rate backup would look like Matt Cassel and his 70 yard/3 interception showing in the playoffs.

            Joe Webb simply isn’t trash, and no scouting department is seriously going to take an appearance like that, given that he essentially had an hour or two’s notice.

          • ACViking

            I chose the phrase “3rd rate” because of my fondness for a WW-II movie staring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood called “Where Eagles Dare”.

            I don’t think you were saying Foles is 3rd-rate, although you’re initial comment is a bit tough on him By the same token, I’d put Ryan Lindley in the “soon to be cut” category — which is well below 3rd rate. So I can’t agree with you on him (and I like Lindley coming out of SD State.)

            As for Joe Webb . . . I’ll leave it to Austinfan to do the breakdown.

          • shah8

            Not ever saying Joe Webb is surefire anything. It really does depend on people being able to trust that his mechanics will be there, instead of whenever… It will depend on whether he can run a gameplan instead of sandlot/one read all the time. What’s important is that Joe Webb has the intrinsic physical capability, and that the basic physical capability is simply not common enough to not take a serious look. He’s just not very different than Kaepernick, and in some senses, I think he’s better–he has better touch on the ball, and much more elusive runner/able to run in traffic. Kaepernick doesn’t have attacks of worm-killing fits, and he’s slowly growing in terms of understanding the offense.

          • Mac

            Hey… Hey…

            What are those fancy non-letter characters that you typed there?

          • D3FB

            Math is hard

          • shah8

            That the team expects Vick to start.

          • D-von

            As in team you mean a handful of players. Last time I checked a team was more than 4 players

          • shah8

            Desperate to believe Vick is only a bad memory, aren’t you? Geez. I know this is show bidness and it isn’t good business to have a QB so many people hate, and I know the Eagles know that. At least give them the credit of actually having a plan, and waiting until they have real replacement instead of going to some overwhelmed QB horrorshow, like Curtis Painter two years ago.

          • D-von

            I actually like Vick, but his career is coming to a close. He’s injury prone and mistake prone and all the talent in the world can’t mask those problems

          • austinfan

            Gee, what did Matt Schaub do his first three seasons in the NFL?

          • shah8

            rack up numbers, get hurt more than Vick, miss playoffs?

            If one actually watches him play, he’s someone with barely enough arm to play as a starter, and recently isn’t really mobile enough anymore. Feasts on bad defenses, for the most part, struggles against anyone competent.

          • D-von

            “Feasts on bad defenses, for the most part, struggles against anyone competent.”
            Sounds like Vick

          • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

            “That’s basically the classical whine by every lame fan who wants to believe in that lame football player he’s latched onto without watching with clear eyes.”

            Joe Webb, anyone?

          • shah8

            Joe Webb was responsible for more wins than Foles in way fewer quarters played. With way, way, more plays made over that time. If Joe Webb was the Eagles backup, I think we win two more games than the one we did, and that’s why I’m enthusiastic about him.

          • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

            Look, just like Vick is extremely talented, so is Joe Webb. No one is going to argue with you about that. But as has been shown time and again, a great QB that does not make. What’s between their ears continually keeps them from ascending to pretty good, let alone elite QB status.

            Yeah, Webb (like Vick) will show you glimpses of brilliance. But those glimpses are a mirage. Just like Vick has been the death of several coaches in his career because of their obsession with his physical talent level, so would Joe Webb constantly tease you with immense talent in his hands, but nothing between his ears.

            And please, please tell me you don’t consider the Tuesday night debacle to be a win that Webb was responsible for. Because, ironically enough, that’s a loss that Vick was responsible for more than it was a win Webb was responsible for.

          • shah8

            I still remember that guy freaking breaking our guy’s ankles.

            But yeah, the philly game is one thing. The Detroit and Washington games are another. It took a facemask to stop him in Detroit. He dominated the attention of the Was defense, and still smacked them around.

            As far as Vick destroying coaches, well…Dan Reeves left for other reasons, Mora, Jr deserves to be trashed, and my thinking is that Reid has a substantial bearing on disappointing seasons the last two years. Coach killing is just a silly sentiment.

            Talent is talent is talent. QBs without great arms usually don’t make the Super Bowl, you know. Those that do, like Hasselbeck, Gannon, tend to get wedgies. The ones that do and win, like Dilfer and Johnson, rode awesome defenses. If not Rypien, then Phil Simms is literally the last average armed QB to win a Super Bowl.

          • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

            How is a bad QB killing a coach a silly sentiment? It happens literally all the time. Do me a favor and don’t resort to mocking my opinion in order to win an argument.

            You draft a QB high, you can’t find a way to win with that QB, you waste years of your franchises time, you get fired. We’re having this same exact conversation every day in relation to whether or not to draft Geno Smith.

            And I wrote this to you in the last thread, but it applies here so I’m just going to be lazy and copy and paste:

            Why is it that you’ll give Joe Webb every chance to “evolve” and eventually succeed as a QB but not someone like Foles?

            I’ll bet your answer is something along the lines of “talent is talent is talent”.

            But all you’ve got to do is look at guys you yourself mention, like Brady and to a lesser extent Manning…guys whose physical limitations (yes, they are physically limited, especially in comparison to their contemporaries like RGIII, Vick, even your guy Joe Webb) are augmented by their understanding of the game, and their instincts and leadership.

            There’s more than one measure of talent. Physical talent for instance. But mental/emotional talent is another and it’s just as important. Players exist on a spectrum of these attributes. It’s about finding a BALANCE between the two, no matter which end of the spectrum you start from.

          • D-von

            Blaine Gabbert got his coach fired. God that guy is awful. How about Josh McDaniel drafting Tim Tebow in the first round LOL

          • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

            So sad. So true.

          • livingonapear

            Talent development isn’t always a linear progression. Cam Newton looked great his first year, then took a giant step back in his second. Rookies especially have varied learning curves that depend on system compatibility, preparation, and the talent around them. Talent is talent, but I think last year’s team proved that talent doesn’t always yield results.

            Foles wasn’t just a rookie, he was the starting QB at the tail end of a lost season. The game plans were not tailored to him, but instead to a QB with a different skill set. As for his coaching staff, he had the lamest of lame ducks, a worn out shell that had little to teach him before they were shown the door.

            You talk about clear eyes, by confirmation bias affects the skeptics just as often as the optimists. None of us are scouts (save for Tommy) and so we see what we can and fill in the rest. You filled in Foles with skeptical thinking, others with wishful thinking. We’ll see where it goes.

          • Mitchell

            How is being a rookie not an excuse? Why is he not really a starter? What has he done to be labeled a back up? He showed talent he made throws and made ROOKIE mistakes. Some players are amazing their first year then take a step backwards some players are the opposite. I’m not saying I’m 100% behind Foles but I wouldn’t count him out either. Let him compete and see who takes the starting job. It may be a bit premature to label him as a back up.

          • Mac

            high five!

        • grn_mtn_phan

          No kidding man. One turnover for Vick in a game honestly feels like a small miracle to me. Look at the coaches careers he’s killed already because they were enamored with his physical tools. Chip being a rookie, no matter how bright he’s supposed to be, it’s frightening to me. I really wish he had gotten rid of him from the jump. I can only picture him being a ncer on or off the field. He’ll end up dividing the team whether he means to or not. I’ve seen hints of it already with some players calling him the starter already in interviews.

          • D-von

            I think he’s a better person than what he was at the beginning of his career. If he was as dedicated to his craft as he is today, there is no telling what he could have done

        • xeynon

          People clearly overrate physical talent when it comes to quarterbacks, and sometimes I think that it’s because they assume that the mental side of the game is something that can be learned if a guy doesn’t come into the league with it. That’s true to a certain extent, but some traits we think of as mental are not actually learned but inborn – good, quick decision making, which is vital to playing quarterback well against NFL defenses, is as much a result of the ability to take in and process large amounts of information quickly as it is of experience against or knowledge of particular defenses, coverages, etc. It’s one thing to look at a piece of game film and say “the cornerback is shading his coverage to the outside, the free safety is playing deep, and the linebacker is coming on a blitz – the receiver and I need to make a hot read and go to a slant pattern”. It’s another thing to take in all that information and process it to reach a decision in the few seconds you have between the snap of the ball and the arrival of a 280 pound man running at full speed in the middle of your back. Perhaps the reason that Vick struggles so much with his reads is not that he doesn’t work hard enough or study film assiduously enough, but that he just doesn’t have a natural gift for lightning-quick perception and processing of information.

          • D-von

            Thats how I feel about Vick. Some QBs look at the defensive alignment and can eliminate almost all the plays that could possible happen into maybe 2 or three plays that might happen. But I have to disagree that this ablility is inherent and not a learned skill. Many QBs in high school are so phyiscally gifted that the need to decipher defenses is not needed. And to some extent this is also true with college. In the NFL everybody is physicaly gifted and it those who have been studying film since most of their lives that excel. Mobility in the QB position can dramtically affect the outcome of a game but without this ability to decipher defenses it will only take QBs so far.

          • xeynon

            I think it’s a combination of an inherent ability (quick info recognition and processing) and a learned skill (being able to recognize the signs that give you useful information to process). I just think sometimes people assume that a guy who doesn’t have the first part of that combination can learn to have it, and I’m not sure that’s the case.

          • D-von

            I can agree with that. Some guys have natural deductive skills

          • xeynon

            Cross-sport comparisons may offer the clearest examples of what I’m talking about. Wayne Gretzky was not very big, wasn’t a blazing fast skater, and didn’t have a cannon shot, but his ability to anticipate where the puck was going to be based on where it was and how other players were moving was off-the-charts and as a result he regularly embarrassed defenders bigger and faster than he was. Point guards in basketball are another example – Chris Paul isn’t as big as Russell Westbrook, can’t run as fast, and can’t jump as high, but he is a better pure point guard because he has a knack for knowing where gaps in the defense are going to open up that Westbrook doesn’t. I think to be a truly great quarterback requires that kind of rapid information processing capability.

          • http://www.facebook.com/michael.w.cho Michael Winter Cho

            These mental abilities are a result of deep and wide knowledge characteristic of expertise in general. Over time, and with training and experience, these experts can “chunk” vast amounts of information into smaller subroutines or elements that are capable of being manipulated in working memory. To make the statement that these abilities are inborn would be to contradict the findings of research into expert abilities in such disciplines as chess, music, and tennis, where the amount of information is just as great and things happen just as fast. Some, but not all of the training methodologies to achieve these abilities are understood. One consistent finding is that a great deal of dedicated study/practice is needed–the so-called “10,000” hour rule.

            My guess is Peyton Manning has put in the time and Vick has not.
            Not to mention having an all-star QB dad to guide you.

          • xeynon

            I’ve read the Malcolm Gladwell book on this topic, and there is no question that training is required to fully develop these abilities. But that does not imply that there is no inborn component to them – some people are just better in general at dealing with chaotic situations and quickly sifting useful information from noise than others are. Manning wouldn’t be Manning without the thousands of hours of practice he’s put into the mechanics of playing quarterback, but it’s quite likely that somebody without his natural gifts wouldn’t be able to duplicate his success even if he followed the exact same routine from the time he was a child. A person born with a tin ear is never going to be Mozart no matter how hard they practice.

          • http://www.facebook.com/michael.w.cho Michael Winter Cho

            As a musician, I’ve gone over this subject many times. The Mozarts and Bachs had some of the finest musical training that perhaps has even existed. It seems that there must be inborn qualities that bear on it, but as yet, actual evidence of “talent” is elusive. However, it is probably splitting hairs. At some point, at least probabilistically, “you are who you are”. Vick isn’t going to turn into a high-level defense reader even if grows a work ethic overnight. Perhaps if he had hit the film room hard as a rookie and kept it up, he would be quite competent at it by now and would be torching the league.

          • xeynon

            It’s not scientific evidence, but I’d say that we can hypothesize the existence and importance of natural talent based on the fact that hundreds if not thousands of other young musicians received the same training that Mozart and Bach did, and did not develop into immortal musical geniuses. If I recall Gladwell’s book correctly, his view was that transcendent success tends to result from a combination of natural talent, hard work (10,000 hours or more of it), and luck. Who’d have thunk it? And he gets six figure advances to write this stuff! :)

            I agree about Vick though – he is who he is. I can’t recall a player in any sport who was mediocre until he was 32 and then suddenly developed into a great performer. Closest example I can think of in football is Rich Gannon and I’d say that his problem was more that he just never got a good opportunity early in his career than that he failed and then suddenly stopped failing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/michael.w.cho Michael Winter Cho

            I don’t think we substantially disagree; however, understand that Leopold Mozart was the top violin teacher in Europe at perhaps the absolute apex of classical music. Mozart’s sister also developed into a virtuoso. Wolfie took to it quickly and also seemed to like it and spend a lot of time at it by temperament. Leopold had the intention of creating musical geniuses, and he succeeded. (you may be interested in the trio of sister chess masters that were the offspring of Lazlo Polgar, who was a chess teacher and put an ad in the paper to find a woman who would participate in the experiment!)

            Bach was born into an even greater musical family. Their idea of fun was to play musical games at gatherings, and many of them ended up as pros. Some of Bach’s sons also developed into 1st-rate composers whose music is still performed today. However, Bach himself was so good that some of his feats seem to defy the possibilities of the human mind. Talk about information processing–he was known to have improvised a six-voice fugue on the organ! If anyone, he is evidence for talent since no one else has been able to do it.

            Most of the top performers in classical and flamenco guitar (my fields) seem to have come from other players, often teachers. It’s hard to tease out nature vs nurture–but when the nurture starts from birth, it has a big effect!

      • parke longaker

        Agreed and I feel the same about Geno

      • ACViking

        Vick’s football epitaph will read “Bobby Douglas with a Chin Strap.”

        • shah8

          /me grins…

          You know, my kidz and yours will watch more old Vick Eagles highlights than McNabb highlights. That will be a fitting epitaph.

          • ACViking

            Maybe McNabb will fade into the Ken Stabler category of “all he did was win” [save for the SB].

            But Vick highlights are just about watching him run.

            What makes Bobby Douglas more fun to watch is, besides no chin strap, he was as big as most of the LBs he ran over . . . and around. And he could beat most DBs in a footrace.

            Plus, Douglas threw so hard and so wildly, receivers didn’t know if they should duck or brace themselves for a broken hand.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    How ’bout that Ryan Nassib?

    • Sb2bowl

      Maybe early 2nd? Some are projecting him to the Bills

  • SteveH

    We seem to be setting ourselves up for a quick turnaround rather than a long rebuilding process, and normally I’d say we’re cutting corners to get there but just about every player we signed makes sense both in a short term context and a long term context, which I love. I bet its both Howie and Chip that wanted to be aggressive in FA, I bet they both want to get this team back to the playoffs ASAP, makes sense for both their careers.

    At this point I think we have enough pieces in place to be a possible playoff contender… except for quarterback. Thats the missing link on the roster, I just hope Chip and Howie don’t see it the same way and end up reaching for someone (like Geno Smith) that isn’t a franchise type guy…

  • T_S_O_P

    How will the point on versatility affect the draft? Casey and Barwin were more athletes than finished products entering the league. Ansah and Hunt fill this criteria and should we take one of them, it may show a trend similar to Big Red’s love of Hawaiian shirts and Offensive Lineman… Or was it Hawaiian Lineman and offensive shirts?

    • parke longaker

      If Reid were here, Ansah would be a lock.

      • D-von

        Reid might draft him with the 1st overall pick. KC is said to have strong interest. That being said, I doubt they’ll use the first overall pick on him

  • D-von

    When it comes to the draft, I think we should look at what Howie Roseman has said and Chip Kelly likes to do. Kelly brought Casey here to be the F-back (good show by the way with Tommy and Jimmy), which allows him to be creative on the offensive side. What allows teams to be creative? Versatility. Howie has been saying for awhile that they draft scheme diverse players like Fletcher Cox, and Mychal Kendricks. To me the most versatile defesive player in this year’s draft is Ezekeil Ansah. Ziggy can play as a Predator, Sam, 5-tech, 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE and 4-3 DT in nickle situations. He can drop back in coverage if you need him to, and he can also set the edge on running plays. He could become our “joker” on the defense.

    • ceedubya9

      I’ve been more of a Dion Jordan guy so far, but having Ziggy on this team would definitely not upset me at all. He is definitely versatile, and I would be happy with him or Dion on this team. I’m not sure how I would feel about him in coverage though, but I don’t think that that is something he would have to do a lot of anyway.

      • D-von

        Would not be mad with Jordan either. Also, lets not mistake Ansah’s coverage ability with Jordan’s. Clearly, Jordan is far superior at that aspect of his game than Ansah

        • ceedubya9

          Yep. two completely different players, but each one’s skill set could definitely offer something nice to this defense if either were selected.

          • ICDogg

            Watching them both I just like Ziggy better. I think he’s a more violent player, a more explosive guy, a more disruptive force.

          • A Roy

            concur…and I think they could trade down several and geet him, too.

          • D-von

            Hopefully a QB hungry team makes that deal. But its going to be a hard sell. Also Detroit and Cleveland have both been said to have serious interst in Ansah

  • Albus

    The Eagles appear to have addressed many needs this off season. One area confounds me a bit — that being additional help on the o-line. With Peters and Kelce coming off serious injuries, they have yet to add anyone who could bolster the line. It makes me wonder if they intend to take one of the tackles or guards with the first pick. Anyone hear if they were looking at Vollmer? Sounds like he could be had for a good price.

    • ceedubya9

      Maybe they have been waiting around a bit for stuff to start happening. Long just got signed recently, and I’m sure we all figured he would have caught on with a team earlier than he did. They may indeed have something going on behind the scenes with a guy like Vollmer right now. They’ve done a pretty good job keeping most of their negotiations quiet so far.

  • Baloophi

    Comparing the toughness of the 2012 Eagles to a sorority pillow fight is going just a bit too far, Tommy. I think you owe sorority sisters across the nation an apology…

    • D-von

      Lol. Eagles were softier than a baby’s bottomj

    • TommyLawlor

      I will only apologize…in person.

  • Kevin_aka_RC

    The only thing worse than a bad Eagles team is a soft Eagles team. Hard to be unhappy with an off-season that has made us tougher across the board.

    • Sb2bowl

      Its been hard watching the teams lately; I remember how much fear opposing teams had with our early to mid 2000s’…….. not any more. They lost the “it” factor.
      It looks like the culture is changing; lets hope so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.muller.71 Bill Muller

    Hey Tommy,Question about Mike Vick,How will his being left handed affect Chip Kellys ability to install whatever version of his read option he does eventually install

    • D3FB

      One of these days Tommy is going to get around to answering you. In the meantime, I will interject my opinion, which is clearly far superior to Tommy’s anyway. It will have very little to no impact. One I don’t expect the read option to be a major mainstay in the offense, no more than 5 or so plays a game at the absolute max. Two, the in the read option, the QB faces the line of scrimmage or the end he is reading so what his throwing hand is does not matter. Three, right handed QBs run the read option both ways so why would Vick being left handed matter?

      • A_T_G

        What about the fact that he is a Cancer? Will that make it more difficult than it would be for a Scorpio?

        • D3FB

          As long as he is a Libra or whatever the hell it is that apparently makes Joe Webb a future 10 time Super Bowl winner that QB can play for me anyday.

  • SleepingDuck

    On the topic of Vick, why do all the former/ current Eagles as well as the national media have the impression that Vick is starter right now? CK has clearly stated that it’s an open competition at QB, so I don’t understand why they think Vick is the starter.

    • D-von

      Their assuming and everybody else is assuming the same thing which backs up the idea that Vick is the starter. Herd mentality. But also remember that everyone expected Vick to be gone after last season and with Kelly bringing him back, to most people it was strong indicator that Vick would be the starter; nevermind the fact that his salary had been cut and the years on the deal had been cut to a one year deal. Still there is a chance that Vick will be the starter, but if it is a true competition between Vick and rest of QBs on the roster I don’t see him winning the job.

  • ACViking

    Re: Missed Opportunities

    On June 5, 1984, the NFL held the supplemental draft of USFL players that delivered Reggie White to the Eagles — with the 4th overall pick.

    The 3rd overall pick of that Supp’l Drft was owned by the Giants — who 6 weeks earlier in the college draft selected OLB Carl Banks from Michigan State.

    5-time NFL Executive of the Year General manager George Young — who built the Giants from scratch starting in January 1979 (hired not long after MML-1) into a two-time SB winner — passed on Reggie White, however, in favor of OT Gary Zimmerman from U-Oregon via the LA Express.

    (No NFL GM has won the Exec of the Year award 5 times except Young.)

    Two years later, in 1986, when the USFL was on the verge of folding and Zimmerman saw that he was headed to NYC, he filed a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of the supplemental draft as a violation of the federal anti-trust laws. Because the NFL Players Association had not agreed to the draft, Zimmerman claimed that the Sherman Act’s “labor exemption” — which exempts from the antitrust laws all issues covered by a collective bargaining agreement — didn’t apply to the Supp’l Draft, thereby making him a free agent.

    Zimmerman wanted no part of NYC or the Giants. Risking a total loss, George Young traded Zimmerman to the Vikings for a pair of 2nd Rd picks — whom the Giants used to select 1986 SB starting CB Mark Collins and back-up S Greg Lasker.

    Zimmerman went to the Vikings, and later the Broncos, and became the premiere LOT of his era . . . and HOFer.

    White of course joined the Eagles . . . Buddy Ryan became their coach . . . and T-Law became, well, T-Law.
    _______________________

    In April 1984, when the Giants selected OLB Carl Banks with their 1st-Rd pick in that year’s NFL draft, he joined future HOFer Taylor and HOFer MLB Harry Carson.

    At RDE — playing in front of Taylor — the Giants had Leonard Marshall. Marshall racked up 79 sacks in 10 years as a Giant, including six seasons of 15.5, 12, 8, 8, 9, and 11.
    _______________________

    But when the 1984 Supplemental Draft came, Giants GM decided that the team needed a stud OLT to protect Phil Simms’ blind side. So Young passed on Reggie White and chose Zimmerman — who never played a down for the Giants.

    Ironically, two seasons later, the Giants won the 1986 Super Bowl with an offensive line of OLT Brad Benson, LG Bill Ard, C Bart Oates, RG Chris Godfrey, and ORT Karl Nelson.

    LT Benson was in his 10th year, having been drafted in the 10th Rd by the Pats in the ’78 draft and cut after training camp.

    LG Ard was an 8th Rd pick in 1981 by the Giants.

    C Oates was signed as a free agent in 1985 after 3 years in the USFL.

    RG Godfrey was also a free agent, signed in 1984 after being playing for the Jets in 1981 but unable to find a team for 3 years.

    RT Karl Nelson was the Giants’ 3rd Rd Pick in the 1983 draft and became an immediate starter.

    Those were your SB-winning OL starters.

    ___________________

    Imagine if, instead of taking Zimmerman, George Young selected Reggie White with that 3rd pick in the 1984 Supplemental Draft.

    The Giants would have had a front 7 of RDE White, NTs Jim Burt and later Erik Howard, LDE Marshall, LOLB Taylor, ILB Carson, ILBs Gary Reasons & Pepper Johson, and LOLB Carl Banks.

    Talk about dominant? Reggie White pass-rushing from one side, and Taylor rushing from the other.

    Their D-coordinator would have been Bill Belichick.

    It’s hard to imagine even Bill Walsh figuring out a scheme to stop them.
    ___________________

    What’s so interesting to me is that the Giants missed on Zimmerman for legal reasons.

    But they used his trade to bolster an already damned good defense. Who knows how great the Giants would have been with the addition of Reggie White to Lawrence Taylor et al. — and Belichick designing the schemes.
    ____________________

    Why does all this matter?

    The Giants won the SB in 1986 with an offensive line of scrubs who’d played together for at least couple of years — kind of like they did in 2007 and 2011.

    The Eagles need depth on the O-line. They need guys who, in a couple-three years, will step in for Peters and Herremans and Mathis.

    But the O-line is about cohesion. You don’t need Top-5 picks on the O-line to win the SB.

    The D-line . . . that’s another story altogether.

    And the late George Young must have kicked himself, very hard, twice a year from 1985 to 1992 watching Reggie White abuse whomever the Giants put in front of him — knowing that the Giants not only could have had White, but he’d have been a book-end to Lawrence Taylor.

    It’s nice to have the luxury of a No. 1 pick at OLT. But it’s just that: a luxury.

    But getting the best talent you can in the defensive front 7, especially on the outside? Maybe that’s the way to go.

    • D-von

      Reggie White on the Giants would give nightmares to philly fans forever.

    • xeynon

      Two objections to the “you don’t need an elite OL to win” argument:

      1.)If you don’t have elite OTs, it helps to have a quarterback who makes up for it. If you have somebody like Brees or Marino who gets rid of the ball quickly, you can get away with less-than-stellar OTs (as indeed the Saints have been – I have a feeling the Bears are going to rue that big contract they gave to Jermon Bushrod when they realize Brees’ quick release isn’t coming with him from New Orleans). But the Eagles do not have such a quarterback.

      2.)The 1986 Giants played in what I now think it is safe to say was a different era. Much more run-oriented, with most teams using two backs and one TE in their basic offensive set and trying to establish the run first. The closest thing to a spread offense in that era was the run-and-shoot, which didn’t really become popular until a few years later when the Oilers started using it (as well as the Bills whose K-gun offense was a modified version of it). Both of those teams had elite offensive tackles however (Mike Munchak and Will Wolford respectively). These days, I think protecting the quarterback is more important than it’s ever been before (and even the Bill Parcells of 1986 thought it was pretty important, since he drafted Jumbo Elliott to play LT for his later Giants teams).

      • shah8

        A lot of the yapping about “athletic QBs” is covering the essential fact that few organizations can build walls in front of their QBs anymore, given cap rules, and the statue has long been outmoded.

        • ACViking

          Statute rule exempts Brady and the Mannings, though, yes?

        • xeynon

          I agree to an extent, but I disagree strongly with the last bit. Yes, you have your Wilsons and Kaepernicks, but there are still plenty of statue types among the best quarterbacks the league (Brady, Flacco, Brees, both Mannings, etc.). To say that the immobile pocket QB type is “outmoded” is a pretty big stretch.

      • ACViking

        Xenyon, you’re right about the era for sure. Parcells (still hated very much) notoriously said after beating the Bills in 1990 that “Power Wins.” Can’t do that anymore.

        That said, the list of SB winners with No. 1 picks at LT in the past decade is thin.

        Whether the OLT is a No. 1 pick or not, he needs to be athletic. That’s for sure.

  • ACViking

    Re: Why is Vick still here

    When the subject of the Eagles resigning Vick, the guy who gets the responsibility for the move is Chip Kelly — a rookie NFL coach who’d watched a handful of some pretty awful tape showing Vick’s 2012 season.

    But maybe the responsibility should belong to Roseman. Sure he gave Kelly the option. But Rosey would have explained (maybe) how he’s been scouting and evaluating NFL players for several years. And, hell, his 2012 draft was great — plus he had no responsibility for any of the prior years.

    Plus, Howie’s aggressive. Roll the dice. Go for the gold.

    It was Roseman who mentioned one day to Reid that D-line coach Jim Washburn would be a killer move. Talk about aggressive. Reid bought in because he trusted his new General Manager (who apparently really had no responsibility at the time).

    So the argument’s there that the resigning of Vick is covered with the fingerprints of the aggressive Howie Roseman.

    Yes. History will put the decision at C-Kelly’s feet.

    But as a rookie coach who’d been in the NFL for about 4 weeks . . . it’s hard not to see the Roseman touch.

    Just a theory — because, it’ll be said, Vick can run; Foles is slow [but faster than Ryan Nassib!]; Chipper’s gonna go “Oregon” on us; and Vick was the best in a bad market, turnovers and all.

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      Just out of curiosity, where did you hear that Roseman was the one who pushed for Washburn?

      I don’t remember hearing that myself, so I’m not sure if this is something you heard behind closed doors so to speak, or if this is just common knowledge I somehow missed out on. . .

      • D-von

        It was from one of the philly beat-writers (Jeff Mclane maybe). I think Tommy addressed it too, but I could be mistaken. Honestly though, even if Roseman pushed for Washburn its still a mistake on Reid.He was the HC and with more power than Roseman. Reid had gotten stale and both sides need a clean slate

        • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

          Oh alright, so I just missed that little tidbit then.

          And yeah, I think you’re right. Reid is a good guy. It’s been documented and it’s why people wanted to work for him and/or play for him. But I think in the end, it was a big part of his downfall.

          He was too trusting and too certain of himself. He gave Marty too much power with the offense, and it became a sick joke.
          He made his friend and o-line coach his D-Coordinator, then saddled him with a crazy and controlling d-line coach, and it didn’t work.

          Howie should constantly be looking around and asking “Coach, what about this guy?”, “What about adding this coach?”. That’s his job. It was up to Reid to say yes or no. And too often in the end he said yes when he should have said no.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

          I thought for some reason that Mudd and Washburn were sort of a package deal…

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